If the Detroit Tigers can somehow acquire Chris Archer without giving up too much in return, it would be an obvious win.
Despite a 36-43 career record, Archer is a legitimate frontline pitcher. From 2013 to 2015, the starter posted a 3.26 ERA, a 3.36 FIP, a 9.1 WAR and only 176 walks in 535.1 innings pitched. He struck out 526 batters over the same span.
Things haven’t exactly gone to plan this season as Archer’s ERA has ballooned to 4.50, and he’s already on the hook for 11 losses. However, there are signs that the former Cleveland prospect is turning things around.
The 27-year-old currently leads the American League with 127 total strikeouts and 11 strikeouts per nine innings.
Archer would seem like an intriguing trade target for the Tigers in the sense that he could provide ace-like production while conceivably costing less than an ace would on the trade market.
Despite that, the cash-strapped Rays might just hold on to Archer. In another tweet, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal wrote that of Tampa Bay’s starters, “Archer probably least likely to go; contract too good for TB.”
The ace is controllable through 2021 on a contract that is extremely team-friendly considering what free agents are fetching on the open market.
A trade centered around Daniel Norris and Archer would certainly be interesting considering that the Rays pitcher is still only 27 and under team control for so long, however it seems unlikely that Archer will be dealt.